Are there any dishes that come to your mind when you think they are the main Portuguese food?
I have to say, before visiting Portugal, I'm not sure I've ever had Portuguese food, nor did I know what kind of dishes I would find there. And I suppose you might be on a similar boat. Known for its seafood and wide variety of spices, Portuguese food is the best Mediterranean food ever!
So if you are a beginner when it comes to Portuguese cuisine or are familiar with their dishes, they dare you to try one of them! Oh, and I can't even get started on their incredible markets and their fresh produce …
Here are 10 local foods that you should absolutely try when visiting Portugal!
Cozido a Portuguesa
Cozido a Portuguesa is one of the most popular dishes in Portugal, but even with its popularity, it is difficult to trace its origin.
The dish itself is a platter of meat, sausages and vegetables. Every region of Portugal has its own variety … so you may have to try it wherever you are!
For example, in the northeast part of Portugal, cozido contains sausage (farinheira), sausage (morcela) and sausage mixed with toy and bread (alheira). In Algarve the dish is often served with mint and potatoes.
Feijoada is Portugal's definition of comfort food. It is a stew of beans, pork and vegetables. It is full of cumin, cloves, garlic and paprika.
If you are traveling along the coast, you may find feijoada replacing pork with seafood.
Peixinhos to Horta
Alheira de Mirandela
Alheira de Mirandela is a dish with a very long history.
When the Jewish population was expelled to Portugal at the end of the 14th century, they fled to the mountains of Tras-os-Montes in northeastern Portugal. They argued that they had become Catholic in order to stay safe, and one way to show this was to eat sausages so that everyone would think they were no longer kosher.
Since then, the dish has become extremely popular in every restaurant and cafe in the country. It's also very budget friendly!
Sardinhas assadas is a typical food for the convenience of Portugal. The grilled sardine platter typically involves the arrival of fish, bones and all. When eating, avoid the spine by biting the side.
Fresh white meat is combined with smoked crispy skin to pack a delicious punch.
Simply put, a bifana – the national Portuguese sandwich – is a DELICIOUS pork sandwich.
Like cozido, the sandwich will vary depending on the area you visit. And speaking of sandwiches, if you're visiting Porto, you should try Francesinha Sandwich, the famous Portuguese food from Porto.
Arroz de Marisco
Arroz de marisco is seafood rice consisting of shrimp, mussels, mussels, lobster, crabs, scallops and rice. It is very similar to Spanish paella, but it can often have a stew-like quality.
This meal is a typical meal from Alentejo. If you go inside, the dish is enhanced with meats such as wild game and on the coast, the version may contain shrimp or fish.
Caldo verde is a Portuguese soup consisting of potatoes, greens, olive oil, garlic, onions and salt. Some recipes can add meat, such as ham, making it similar to the Italian-American wedding soup. It's the perfect healthy meal for a cold day.
Polvo to Lagareiro
If you haven't noticed yet, the Portuguese love their seafood.
And this is again the case with polvo a lagareiro, a dish consisting of a whole boiling octopus and then baked with garlic and olive oil. You will find this dish in any city in the country, although it is best enjoyed at Nazare, a seaside village.
Pastel de Datta
Last but not least, Portuguese Dessert!
Pastel de nata is a sweet and creamy egg cake that is quite addictive. Made of flour, butter, cinnamon, eggs and natural sugar. The dough has a crisp outer shell that melts in your mouth the minute you take a bite. Enjoy a glass of Portuguese coffee and you'll feel like you're in heaven.
Although many people are unfamiliar with Portuguese food, it is a country full of comfort dishes, delicious seafood and desserts that will leave you wanting more.
Whether you are visiting Portugal or just want to give your dishes a chance at home, try one of these 10 dishes to get a real feel of the real gastronomic scene of the country!
I would love to know what are the Portuguese dishes you tried in the comments below!
Recommended routes all over Portugal!